Here in the Philadelphia area, we never know how much snow we'll get over the course of the winter. Some years it's a lot. Sometimes we don't get any at all.
Right now, we're waiting for our first appreciable snowfall of the season. The forecast is for up to three inches by tomorrow.
When you don't live in a terrain of constant snow, its imminence is powerful. There is an exquisite anticipation in waiting for snow.
You remember being a child: hoping that there will be enough snowfall to cause school to be canceled.
You remember walking in a snowfall at night: the astonishing quiet of it, the way the snowflakes only become visible as they enter the cone of a streetlamp.
You remember playing in the snow. Personally, I never understood the appeal of sleds - they looked unnecessarily complex to me. I always preferred the simplicity of a toboggan.
Of course, the year I asked for - and received - a toboggan for Christmas, it never snowed that year.
But that's winter in Philadelphia for you.